Monthly Countdown Scouting Report: John Wall

We like trying to bring our faithful audience of die-hard Wolves fans a variety of stories here at Howlin’ T-Wolf and have decided to bring a new concept to you readers. We we’re going to post it last week but figured it would be better to wait until after the All-Star and trade deadline dust settled. Every month from now on until the draft, Patrick and I will be compiling research on some of the top draft prospects who may be available in the upcoming 2010 NBA Draft. I will go through and give you the facts on that player and what they would bring to the Timberwolves franchise if we were to select them with our early lottery pick. Also let us know if there is something else you’d like us to dig up or show you on these prospects. Here we go and enjoy!

John Wall, Kentucky

The 2010 NBA Draft should just be renamed “The 2010 Race for John Wall”. I’m sure you’ve heard it all. He’s fast, strong, quick, smart and has the ability to make plays like Dwyane Wade and Michael Jordan. The guy showed he was a stud in his first game with Kentucky, knocking down the game-winner against Miami, Ohio and its all been history since then.

This is a link to the Nets Are Scorching’s report on John Wall

Stats:

Based on one collegiate season:

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NBA Comparison:

Derrick Rose but more of a true point guard.

Qualities:

Wall is a true pass-first point guard and will be coming into a league where that breed of guard is slowly diminishing. He looks to make plays through his teammates but also possesses the ability to shoot when all other options are shut down. Here is what Jonathan Givony has to say on DraftExpress:

More important than the numbers is the fact that Wall is clearly showing excellent instincts as a passer, both with the creativity in which he gets the ball to teammates in different spots on the floor—he’s more than just a vanilla drive and dish point guard—and also with the willingness he displays to get others involved.

Wall is both very strong and tough. He is very good at getting into the lane which results in Dwayne-Wade-esque layups and consistently getting to the charity stripe. He stands at 6’4″ and almost 200 lbs. which could pose as a problem for most NBA point guards. He can play the two spot if needed but his shooting may need a little improvement to play there permanently, not to mention it would be a mistake to limit his abilities at the 2-spot unless he was still the primary ball handler ala Wade or Tyreke Evans in Sacramento. Wall’s versatility also provides a positive on the defensive side of the court. He has tremendous lateral quickness and can stick to any guard who thinks they can get by him. With Wall’s terrific wingspan, he is able to contest shots and force turnovers. What really might set Wall apart from everyone else in the draft are his qualities that might not directly correlate to basketball. He has high energy and is a positively charismatic guy which does transfer over nicely to the court. He is a natural born leader and that comes in effect especially during clutch situations.

Essentially, almost everything that comes from someone’s mouth when talking about Wall are good things. His athleticism speaks words of its own and his basketball IQ is that of a veteran in the NBA, very similar to what Lebron James possesses. Not only does Wall make the right decisions as a PG but he does it with such a creativity that few players have. He can drive the lane and swing it out to the perimeter, hand it off to someone else underneath or finish himself and that is what will separate him from any other guard in the league. It really is crazy to think that he is only 19 years old and is ready to jump into the NBA and make an impact right away in his first season.

Weaknesses:

There aren’t many but let me touch on a few of them. He doesn’t have much of a mid-game to speak of, even though it truly is becoming a lost art in basketball — you either shoot three’s or score at the rim — as most people only specialize in one of those two styles as a scorer. He does commit turnovers. They mostly are a result of him trying to make an outstanding play but his average four per game may be a bit more than what most teams look for in their starting point guard. His shooting stroke is inconsistent and he does struggle from long range. Those can be worked on at the next level (See Brewer, Corey) a bit more but are a cause of concern for some teams that want their point guard to shoot threes effectively and efficiently right away.

He also did have a little bit of a tiff with head coach at Kentucky John Calipari when Calipari singled him out for a stretch of bad play. Wall, someone who hasn’t heard too much criticism about his game in the past few years, took it personally and said he just had to tune Coach out and play. It came across the wrong way, they met and worked it out, Wall admitted to having to many turnovers, and everything’s back to normal. That being said it did bear mentioning.

Why the Timberwolves should draft him:

Many can argue that the Wolves don’t need another point guard — it would just complicate things even further. But what if I told you that drafting Wall might be the best scenario for the Wolves? Stay with me here. The Wolves hit the lottery and draft Wall. This opens up doors to allow the Wolves to move one or two of these players: Ramon Sessions, Jonny Flynn and the rights to Ricky Rubio. If we were to trade Flynn and the right’s to Rubio for a couple of top 10 1st rounders in this year’s draft, we would have quite the team of young players on our hands. With that in line, the Wolves could build around Wall with Jefferson, Love, and Brewer as well as say a top lottery pick wing ans center.

This is not the only option though. Not even close. The options are almost infinite with drafting Wall. We could trade Flynn or Sessions this summer, then once Rubio comes from overseas in two summers, trade the other and we could see two of the greatest play-making guards, in Wall and Rubio, in the NBA on the same team. Yes, I do daydream about this kind of stuff but you should too. Imagine two of the league’s top playmakers on the same team. Or even better, think about a backcourt with guys similar to Steve Nash and Dwayne Wade playing on the Wolves. That’s the potential of a Rubio-Wall tandem. You like? Yeah, me too.

Basically, if we were to acquire Wall, all the doors will be swung open and our potential roster options will increase tenfold. David Kahn can sit back and accumulate a team that could dominate for years to come.

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